Bikes in the mix: Commuting mode

Transport Politic did an analysis of the latest US Census data on differences in commuter transportation mode between 2000 and 2009.   Their interests were somewhat broader than mine, and they make some interesting observations about how the presence of rail and recent investment in rail seems to have an influence on moving people toward non-auto commutes (I think that non-auto commutes, rail, and the political will to invest in non-auto infrastructure would be difficult to sort out in their cause and effect relationships).

But of course I zoomed in on that bike commute column.  It is interesting to see that Southern cities (TP saw them as “sprawling” cities, but they all happen to be Southern) saw increased auto share and small or negative transit and biking growth; this includes Memphis (no surprise).  Nashville saw an increase in transit use (new commuter rail) but I am surprised to see a decrease in biking with the visible bike activism there.

This makes Knoxville that much more remarkable.  I pulled up the same data for us, and biking increased 325% (if I calculated it the same as they did– percent increase of percent share) in the same period.  That beats everybody on TP’s list!   (I suspect that some of these results are statistical noise from small numbers and small sample size.  I look forward to seeing better numbers for the full 2010 census.)  The Knox TPO Bike Program has seen count increases that support the scale of this increase.

% Change in Mode Share, 2000-2009 in America’s Biggest Cities (from Transport Politic)
  Total Auto Total Non-Auto Driving alone Carpooling Transit Biking Walking
Austin -5.1 4.5 -1.2 -25.2 12 11.9 -11.4
Baltimore 0.5 -6.6 11 -37.1 -12.7 200.6 0.7
Boston -11.9 9.7 -10.9 -16.4 6.9 117.7 8.4
Charlotte -3.7 24.3 -1.6 -16.2 8.5 3.6 59.4
Chicago -6 4.1 1.4 -31.5 1.6 129.2 4.7
Columbus 0.3 -24 4.3 -29.1 -39.7 107.3 -18.6
Dallas 0.6 -20.8 10.8 -40 -28.1 9.3 -2.3
Denver -2.4 -3.3 1.7 -23.3 -7.5 89.8 -15.5
Detroit -3.3 7.8 4.1 -33.1 -12 192.4 58.4
El Paso -2.4 14.4 4.3 -35 2.5 47.8 26.5
Fort Worth -1.5 -16.4 4.7 -29.9 1.5 -18.2 -31.5
Houston 0.7 -23.5 5.3 -19.8 -33 -17.9 -0.4
Indianapolis -0.3 -2.6 3 -21.8 -17.1 129.1 1.1
Jacksonville -1.1 -11.3 0.4 -10.4 -18.5 -4.1 -4.7
Las Vegas -0.1 -13.7 5.5 -27.5 -28.5 -10.7 18.7
Los Angeles -3.6 9.2 2 -28.7 10.7 63.8 -4.2
Memphis -1.5 -7.9 2.7 -22.2 -7.8 -78.7 -4
Milwaukee 0.9 -10.1 2.4 -7.2 -18.1 90.3 0.4
Nashville -1.3 -13.4 2.8 -24.9 21.7 -23.3 -39.5
New York -12.6 3.3 -5.6 -34.3 4 28.8 -1.1
Philadelphia -3.5 1.2 4.3 -33.5 -2.1 150.7 -4
Phoenix -1.2 -3.5 3.9 -22.3 -1.4 4.6 -9.8
Portland -7.2 18.6 -3.3 -28.1 -6.4 230 6.3
San Antonio -0.6 -9.9 4.2 -24.6 -12 -11.7 -6.2
San Diego -1.5 -13.2 3.5 -31.4 -12.4 14.6 -19.6
San Francisco -9.6 6.2 -3.9 -31 2 50.2 10.5
San Jose -2.1 -2.1 0 -13.3 -21.3 43.1 32.8
Seattle -7.7 12.5 -6.5 -14.1 10.9 59 4.4
Washington -12.7 9.3 -5.1 -39.3 12 86.2 -5.9

 

Personal note:  After an MRI, the orthopedist sayst that the knee issue is a nasty bone bruise.  That means no surgery and no long-term problems, but it also means that it will heal slowly.  I don’t know how long I will be off the bike, but I am taking the opportunity to reacquaint myself with the local bus system.

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